Child abuse commission wants two more years to allow victims to testify

The Guardian (UK)

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Helen Davidson, Monday 30 June 2014

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has requested an extra two years and $104m to finish its job.

The royal commission, set up by former prime minister Julia Gillard, released its interim report on Monday afternoon. It has interviewed more than 1,700 people in private sessions, identified abuses in more than 1,000 institutions and held 14 public hearings into case study incidents, which include the handling of abuse claims within the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, NSW state-run children’s homes and Marist Brothers schools.

The commission recently announced it would hold a public hearing into Swimming Australia.

The interim report, the most comprehensive document on the royal commission released so far, covering all findings to date, comes in two parts, including 150 de-identified victims’ stories of abuse.

The report confirmed statements by chief commissioner Justice Peter McClellan in a speech at Griffith University earlier this month, including that the slated 2015 end date to the commission – which was always open to change – did not allow enough time to adequately hear all cases.

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